Mandya: Sumalatha to scale JD(S) vote share wall

Mandya: Sumalatha to scale JD(S) vote share wall

Sumalatha will have to slog to swing votes or match the vote share that the JD(S) has across all eight Assembly segments that fall under the Mandya Lok Sabha seat, data analyzed by DH show.

Sumalatha will have to slog to swing votes or match the vote share that the JD(S) has across all eight Assembly segments that fall under the Mandya Lok Sabha seat, data analyzed by DH show.

In the May 2018 Assembly polls, the JD(S) bagged over seven lakh votes across the eight segments, accounting for an overall vote share of
53.96%.

This is far ahead of the Congress, whose share was 36.68% and the BJP came a very distant third at 5.37%.

Nikhil stands to win if the JD(S) holds on to its 2018 vote share. Sample this: Sumalatha will trail by over two lakh votes even if she bags the votes polled by the Congress and BJP together in the Assembly election last year.

The BJP made significant electoral gain the November 2018 Mandya Lok Sabha bypoll in which the Congress did not field a candidate because of its alliance with the JD(S).
The BJP bagged 2.44 lakh votes, but was still short by 3.24 lakh votes.

That the JD(S) swept Mandya is attributed to the heavy consolidation of Vokkaliga votes against the Congress. Observers point out that some JD(S)
leaders have raked up Sumalatha’s caste - she belongs to the Balija community - expressly to try and keep Vokkaliga votes intact.

Political analyst Sandeep Shastri concurred that Sumalatha faced the statistical challenge in filling the vote share gap. “Since this is a peculiar election, I’ll go beyond statistics,” he said. “There’s a silent disquiet in the JD(S) that only one family is being promoted. Also, Sumalatha has found support in Ambareesh’s fans and the BJP. We’ll have to factor in these points as well.”

Psephologist S Mahadeva Prakash believes Lingayats and Kurubas will support Sumalatha this time. “And because Ambareesh was a Vokkaliga, the JD(S) may see a 30-40% cut in the community’s votes,” he said. Another plus for Sumalatha, according to him, is that she may fill up the leadership void for the Congress in Mandya “since there’s no Ambareesh, SM Krishna or G Madegowda.”